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5 Creative Ways to Exercise While Sick

Nov 11, 2010

Exercising while sick may be the last thing on your mind. If you have a fever, your normal workouts are out of the question. Those exercise movements will make your body temperature rise. Also, if your illness or medications bring on nausea, regular exercise is a poor choice. When you need complete bed rest or if you are in the hospital, there are nonetheless ways to think creatively about exercises to improve your strength. Physical therapists and doctors champion mild exercises that allow you to flex, strengthen your muscles, improve circulation, regain a firm sense of balance and elevate your feeling of well-being. Use these five creative ways to excercise while sick.

1. Balance

You cannot regain strength without addressing that wobbly feeling after a long stay in bed. Older patients who are sick, especially, need to practice balance to lessen the risk of a nasty fall when trying to get to the bathroom or walking quckly to turn off an alarm. Stand on one leg for 10 seconds. Then, stand on the other for 10 seconds. Do this five times on either leg.

First try this standing behind a chair and holding on to the chair lightly with one hand. Then try it without a chair. Keep the chair near you, though, in case you cannot manage.

2. Tighten Abs

This is an exercise that you can do while lying on your back. Flex your muscles in your abdomen and release. Hold the flex each time for at least eight seconds. If you can, hold in your ab muscles for 12 to 15 seconds and then release. Repeat at least eight times. Should you have surgery that makes this painful or if you think it would be risky, consult your doctor.

Also, try bed sit-ups. This is a good way to tighten your stomach muscles. Lie on your back and bend your legs. Place your hands behind your head. Bend your truck forward. Do this as many times as you feel comfortable.

3. Improve Circulation

A walk around the house or back and forth in a hospital corridor is better than doing nothing. You do not want to suffer from poor ciculation and blood clots if you can help it. To improve the blood flow, sit in a chair or at the side of the bed, with your feet touching the floor. Tap your feet against the floor. If you do this about 30 to 40 times, you will feel a good rush of circulation in your legs and feet.

4. Strengthen Thigh Muscles

Simply lie on your back, raise your leg and lift it as high as you can. Keep your leg straight. Hold it for at least 10 seconds. Repeat on the other leg. Try doing this on each leg at least eight times each. If you think you can without too much discomfort, increase the frequency of this exercise throughout the day.

5. Arms

Sitting at the edge of your bed or in a chair, lock your fingers as if you were going to pray. Turn your palms outward. Stretch your arms at the level of your shoulders. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Do this 10 to 15 times.

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